HIROSHIMA, JUNE 16, 2019: Chile created the surprise of the day, beating the host nation 3-1 by playing a strong defensive game and are now placed at the top of pool B. Russia defeated Mexico (6-0) and now have the same number of points as Japan. In Pool A, Uruguay held their nerve against Fiji (4-0) and are now placed 3rd in the pool behind Poland. India, with their efficient and consistent style of play, triumphed over Poland 5-0 and have the chance to secure their place in the semi-finals when they play Fiji on Tuesday, reports FIH.
Russia – Mexico (Pool B)
Russia, after their tight loss against Japan yesterday, fought hard to obtain their first 3 points in pool B, whilst Mexico aimed to readjust their fortunes after their loss to Chile on Day 1.
Both teams assessed each other in the first quarter, adopting a low defensive line, then through a nice passing combination , Dayana Yushkova opened the scoring in the 8th minute. Russia increased their lead with a deflection at a penalty corner by Alina Khalimova. Then just a few seconds later, a long pass gave the opportunity for Russia to play a two against one, and Svetlana Eroshina beat the Mexican goalie with a smooth reverse flick. Russia were smothering Mexico with their direct style of play.
In the second quarter Mexico tried to overcome the Russian defensive line with long overheads, but couldn't get through. Although, Russia missed their chance to score at a penalty stroke, Evgeniia Sorokina made sure of their fourth goal before the half time break.
In the third quarter, Bogdana Sadovaia made no mistake by firing a low drag flick and although Mexico won two penalty corners, they couldn’t convert them into goals.
In the last quarter Mexico created many opportunities but were unable to score, and in the last few seconds, Russia increased their margin of victory by converting a penalty corner.
Mexico Head Coach Arely Castellanos: “ The team didn’t do really well, with a low fitness (..)we will have to work”
Russia Assistant Coach Moses Lodarmasse: “ We have tried to control the game (…) The girls have done a great job, they’ve stayed in position and have played as we wanted to, so great job”
Result: Russia 6, Mexico 0 (Pool B)
Umpires: Mary Driscoll (USA), Cookie Tan (SGP)
Chile – Japan (Pool B)
The top two teams in pool B at the start of the day fought hard to take first place in the pool.
Japan quickly won their first penalty corner after a rebound hit a Chilean foot in the 3rd minute. Chile defended it well and took the opportunity for a high paced counter attack which Denise Krimerman scored with confidence. Japan strove to wipe off Chile’s lead but couldn't beat their defence despite four consecutive penalty corners. They showed some nice collective combinations but were continuously blocked by Chile’s goalkeeper, the impressive Claudia Schuler.
In the middle of the third quarter Japan’s Hazuki Nagai missed a penalty stroke given after a strong challenge in the Chilean circle, but Japan did finally equalize by converting a penalty corner, Suzuki Miyu deflecting home Hazuki Nagai’s low shot.
In the final quarter, Japan were reduced to 10 players when they were penalized for playing with 12. Chile used this advantage to increase the pressure, and. 6 minutes before the end of the game, Fernanda Villagran scored to retake the lead for Chile. For the final few minutes, Japan substituted their goalkeeper but were surprised in the last 20 seconds when Chile’s Consuelo de las Heras scored to confirm their win.
Chile’s head coach Alfredo Castro: “The most important thing of the game, was the defence and the attitude of the team, especially in the last quarter”
Japan head coach Anthony Farry: “We created multiple opportunities but we weren’t able to put it in the net”
Result: Chile 3, Japan 1(Pool B)
Umpires: Suzi Sutton (USA), Hong Chen (CHN)
Uruguay - Fiji (Pool A)
From the start of the game, Uruguay held the lion’s share of possession and created several circle entries and penalty corners, but couldn’t score. Fiji held a low defensive line and managed to keep Uruguay at bay for the first half, and the match reached half time with the score locked at 0-0.
Early in the second half, Sol Amadeo found a chink in Fiji’s defence and opened the score for Uruguay. Fiji fought hard and defended penalty corners very well, but in the middle of the third quarter Camilia Piazza increased Uruguay’s lead, firing a rebound into Fiji’s goal. Three minutes before the end of the third quarter, Sol Amadeo scored again with a fast low reverse shot, and a smart combination at a late penalty corner by Manuela Vilar del Valle gave Uruguay their fourth and a well deserved first three points in pool A.
Uruguay head coach Nicolas Tixe: “ We are in a good position to qualify for the cross overs, (…) in the second half we were calmer and tried to prepare the play and play the best options ”
Fiji assistant coach Emi Nawaqakuta: “We came to achieve what we’ve wanted, we’ve tried to keep our score line lower than yesterday (…) it’s a great experience for the girls. We’re so proud of them because they are stepping out to show the world that we have enough skills to hold this team and we have enough pride in ourselves to continue until the last minute”
Result: Uruguay 4, Fiji 0 (Pool A)
Umpires: Chieko Soma (JPN), Veronica Villafane (ARG)
Poland – India (Pool A)
Clash between the top 2 of pool A. India aim to secure their position of favourites coming into the competition with the highest world ranking (9) of the teams.
India started fast and won a penalty corner within the first 30 seconds, but couldn't convert it, and with both teams playing high defensive presses, multiple circle entries were won by both sides.
Poland were strong defensively, but India pushed hard and finally the first goal came with Jyoti’s deflection finishing in Poland’s net. Five minutes before the end of the half, Vandana Katariya scored, with the second rebound from a penalty corner. Gurjit Kaur then fired a bullet just before the half time with a drag flick at a penalty corner to make the score a more comfortable 3-0.
In the third quarter, India kept consistency in their play and won a penalty stroke that was converted by Gurjit Kaur
India enjoyed strong support from the crowd with many Indian fans coming to the stadium to cheer their home nation. Navneet Kaur delighted their supporters by firing a bullet from the top of the D to score the 5th and final goal.
Poland team manager Lukasz Julga: “the score is 5-0 for India and we have expected that it was going to be a tough game, and now we are looking to the match against Uruguay”
India head coach Sjoerd Marijne: “we did really well, we were more concentrated, high level, faster passing and especially when we lost the ball, our gaining were good and we’ve had more opportunities and more penalty corners. ”
Result: Poland 0, India 5 (Pool A)
Umpires: Katrina Woold (NZL), Jianjun Chen (CHN)
The action continues Tuesday in Hiroshima (18th June):
12:00 (JST) Uruguay - Poland (Pool A)
14:00 (JST) India - Fiji (Pool A)
16:00 (JST) Japan - Mexico (Pool B)
18:00 (JST) Russia - Chile (Pool B).